The first comprehensive English-language study of literary trends in the fiction of Taiwan over the last forty years, this pioneering work explores a rich tradition of literary Modernism in its shifting relationship with Chinese politics and culture.
Situating her subject in its historical context, Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang traces the connection between Taiwan's Modernists and the liberal scholars of pre-Communist China. She discusses the Modernists' ambivalent relationship with contemporary Taiwan's conservative culture, and provides a detailed critical survey of the strife between the Modernists and the socialistically inclined, anti-Western Nativists. Chang's approach is comprehensive, combining Chinese and comparative perspectives. Employing the critical insights of Raymond Williams, Peter Burger, M. M. Bahktin, and Fredric Jameson, she investigates the complex issues involved in Chinese writers' appropriation of avant-gardism, aestheticism, and various other Western literary concepts and techniques. Within this framework, Chang offers original, challenging interpretations of major works by the best-known Chinese Modernists from Taiwan.
As an intensive introduction to a literature of considerable quality and impact, and as a case study of the global spread of Western literary Modernism, this book will be of great interest to students of Chinese and comparative literature, and to those who wish to understand the broad patterns of twentieth-century literary history.